why i'm leaving thrivecart
it's been a nice run, but it's time to put my money where my values are
yo friends! i just published this piece in the ungated community, but figured i’d republish it here. i get a lot of questions about the tools i use to run my business, and how to choose between them in market that’s saturated with options. so here’s why i’m moving on from a tool that’s been critical for my business since 2017.
within the next few weeks, i’m moving most of the payment/checkout infrastructure in my business to a platform called lemon squeezy. if any of y'all are looking for something like gumroad, but with more features and lower fees, i heartily recommend it.
as for why i'm moving, there are a couple factors. i've been with thrivecart for years, and it works well enough. given that it's a one-time purchase instead of a subscription, the initial investment has paid for itself many times over. but increasingly i'm looking for something simpler and prettier and more modern, with more focus on subscription/membership management, and that's way more in alignment with my values.
the seed of this move was planted last week when a community member asked me why i don't currently have membership renewal reminder emails. after investigating a bit, i learned that thrivecart has a feature that does this, but i was reluctant to turn it on because i wouldn't be able to customize the emails, and i don't trust them to do it tastefully.
turns out, it's a pretty big red flag when you're so distrustful of your software tools that you don't turn on a no-brainer feature that would benefit your customers. as i shift my business more into memberships in 2023, my relationship with customers matters more than ever. all of these touch points, however tiny and transactional, are a chance to delight and deepen those relationships. and frankly, i don't want to leave those interactions up to a tool that i know doesn't share my values.
as i've let go of my internet marketing baggage these last two years, it's become clear that thrivecart, while a powerful tool, is out of step with who i’ve become, and how i want to build my business. every time i recommend them, i recoil and second guess, because i know i'm sending someone into the jaws of some seriously manipulative and tacky marketing. i mean, thrivecart has had a "limited time lifetime offer" for like six years straight, and probably will forever. but a new customer wouldn't know that, because when you land their site, their countdown timer assures you that it may go away unless you buy RIGHT NOW. most of my friends who've bough thrivecart have said they felt duped and grossed out, and that's not something i ever wanna point my friends towards again.
but beyond the marketing, their product and community are completely geared towards high pressure internet marketers who are obsessed with funnels and conversion and shit like that. the environments we put ourselves in, and the tools we use, inevitably shape us. and frankly i just don't want to be anywhere near thrivecart's product or community anymore. so i'm leaving it behind, just as i have with all the other traditional marketing tactics that i no longer believe in.
anyhow, after testing out lemon squeezy for the last week, it feels like a more aligned and delightful service to me. it gives me 85% of what i do with thrivecart, and i've put in feature requests for the remaining 15%. their carts and checkout processes look beautiful and clean. and i've been stalking the founders on twitter a bit, and i like their independent and no-bullshit vibe. overall, moving here feels like an important step in being the change i want to see on the internet, and voting with my dollars and my recommendations.